How Long to Wait after Operation Before RAI Ablation?


Dear experts -In the literature it is always suggested that the radio iodine abalation is administered approx 4-6 weeks post operatively after total /near total thyroidectomy for ca. One of the reasonS is for stimulation of TSH so it is at least above 30 mIU/L, but if this level of TSH is reached before this period( by end of first week? ) can RAI be administered sooner ? Thanks

Hamda Saleh, Registrar,The Children's Hospital at Westmead,NSW,Australia

612-98452905 Nasir Kahlon < > 6/16/2002


I am not aware of any reason that one needs to wait longer than the interval required to raise the TSH, or of a study on the question. Note that the TSH may go up slowly or never reach 30 if a large amount of thyroid is left in place. The prior approach involved allowing patients to recover from the operation, and then preparing for ablation. Probably either way is acceptable.

Leslie J De Groot,MD